The bizarre story was set in Beverly Hills, where a man visited the office of the literary agent and left behind a briefcase that he said contained a computer, police Sgt. Brad Cornelius said.
The man left instructions for it to be delivered to someone at the business, who told another person in the office, "This guy's been kind of pestering me to read his stuff" and said he neither asked for nor wanted the briefcase, Cornelius said.
A security guard took the case into an alley, and a Los Angeles County sheriff's bomb squad was sent to investigate the suspicious package.
Officials sealed off one square block and evacuated dozens of people from a handful of businesses on nearby Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard before blowing open the briefcase, which contained no explosives.
Police detained the man suspected of leaving the briefcase and questioned him before he was released, Cornelius said. His name and other details were not immediately released.